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Firefighters battle burning grass, wheat fields in Reno County

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, June 29, 2013, at 10:28 p.m.

More than 20 fire units spent about five hours Saturday fighting a large grass and wheat field blaze started by a burning camper being driven along U.S. 50 in Reno County.

Kent Branscom, chief for Reno County Fire District 4, said the swath of burning ground was ignited by the camper, which was being pulled east by a pickup, shortly before 3:30 p.m.

The vehicle stopped after it “caught about six miles of wheat field and wheat stubble on fire,” a Reno County dispatch supervisor said. Branscom said other drivers tried to signal for the truck and camper to stop while it drove down the highway.

“I’m not sure what was on fire on it, but something was causing some sparks,” which started at least two large fires along the highway west of Partridge, Branscom said.

Six fire departments – Reno County Fire Districts 3, 4, 6 and 8, as well as firefighters from Pretty Prairie and south Hutchinson – were battling the blaze into the evening. It was out by about 8:45 p.m., Branscom said.

Residents of at least one home had been evacuated, the dispatch supervisor said. But the fire was halted before reaching the house and other buildings in the area.

The American Red Cross and local emergency medical services personnel were on the scene to help keep the firefighters healthy as they worked, the dispatch supervisor said.

No one was hurt.

“We lucked out there,” Branscom said.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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